THE project to build new Gresley class P2 steam locomotive No. 2007 Prince of Wales is delighted to announce that it is now two-thirds complete, with over £4m of the estimated required £6m raised since it was launched in September 2013.

The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK.

They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in the 1930s for the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to haul 600-ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.

Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into ungainly class A2/2 4-6-2 ‘Pacifics’ in 1943/4 and scrapped by 1961.

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The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is building the seventh member of this class at its Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) over ten years, at an estimated cost of £6m.

Unlike with the Trust’s first new steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, significant development work has been required to ensure the new Gresley class P2 reaches its full potential.

Principle areas of redesign include:

• Develop improved pony truck and frame design using VAMPIRE® modelling data to confirm ride characteristics – complete.

• Investigate and confirm valve gear to be fitted; choices were improved Lentz/Franklin (selected), Walschaerts or British Caprotti – valve gear selected, design changes and manufacture underway.

• Investigate and reduce risk of crank axle failure apparent on original class P2s – design study and manufacture complete.

• Investigate and confirm design and method of construction of cylinders - cast versus fabrication – study complete and fabrication underway.

Read more: Historic Class 37 locomotive rolls back into Darlington

Despite the impact of COVID-19, progress on the construction of the new Gresley class P2 is moving forward rapidly with assembly work continuing on all fronts.

Now design work for the extensively modified and improved cylinder block is complete, focus has turned to the adaptation of the Lentz rotary cam poppet valve gear to overcome deficiencies in the original design.

Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “Over the past eight years, the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive has spent more than £4m on design & construction and raised over £4m of the estimated £6m required to complete No. 2007 over the next two years.

“The trial fitting of the coupling rods and pony truck to the engine for the first time for the Trust’s Annual Convention is a very significant milestone in the project to build Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive.

There is still another £2m to raise so if the public would like to see a new Gresley class P2 sooner rather than later, potential supporters are encouraged to get on-board by becoming a ‘P2 for the price of a pint of beer a week’, joining one of our fundraising clubs or sponsoring a specific component through the Dedicated Donation scheme.”

For details of how to help visit or to make a donation email or call 01325 460163.


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